Bray Wanderers Match Preview
Leinster Senior Cup last 16 v New Oak Boys
Sunday February 12, Old Burrin Road
With the prospect of hosting Shamrock Rovers in the Quarter Finals of the competition, Bray Wanderers kick off the 2023 season with a last 16 tie in the Leinster Senior Cup away to New Oak Boys on Sunday.
The Carlow League champions have overcome Trim Celtic, Kilbarrack United and Killester Celtic previously in the provincial competition.
With the opening League of Ireland First Division season clash away to Treaty United upcoming next week, new Seagulls Head Coach Ian Ryan believes Sunday’s encounter at Burrin Road is a good opportunity for the new look squad to get up and running.
“It’s ideal for us. A competitive game the week before we start the League season. We are looking forward to it. We have a couple of bodies coming back in training this week, so it’s coming together,” said Ryan.
With 16 new arrivals over the close season, it will be a new-look Wicklow side who make the trip to Carlow to face the Junior opposition.
“It is somewhat unknown territory. But at this point of our season build-up, we can only look after ourselves. We have to come through the game with no injuries and hopefully through to the next round. It’s going to be a good test for us; to get the intensity needed heading into the league” Ryan enthused.
“That is why it’s the ideal time to play the game, and the ideal opposition because they are midway through their season. They would love to scalp a League of Ireland team. So, the intensity needs to be there. But we need that in training heading into the game and preparing for next week.”
Team Captain Dave Webster and winger Darren Craven are recovering from injury and not expected until back in action until March.
Striker Jake Walker is cup-tied having already played for Crumlin United in the competition.
“Len O’Sullivan, Luka Lovic, and Eoin Farrell have been back training this week. It might come too soon for them. Other that, we’re good to go” explained Ryan.
He continued “We are going to have several debuts. We were able to go strong last week against Shelbourne. There will probably be a few changes from that line-up again because there is competition for places within the squad. That is what we need this year. Obviously, there’s 11 playing each week. But we have 24 players who are worthy of playing. That’s must come from within – that when they are on the pitch, they have to do it justice.”